Day 21 Sun 25/12. Alta 3600m (50900 total)

and yet another sunny day – I wanted a storm for Christmas but it was never going to happen.  With two notable exceptions took a pretty relaxed approach to the day and as expected pretty quiet up the mountain.  First bit of excitement was on the drive up – hit a patch of ice on what I had thought was a dry road and did a couple of fishtails but managed to recover – any one you keep driving after is a good learning experience!

Reasonable cover on the groomers but pretty scratchy off piste.  Did a warm up on Rock n Roll then decided to give myself my Christmas present.  Much of Alta’s terrain is hike to, and virtually all of it is advanced (they don’t go in for double black of other such ratings here).  And since I started getting more confident off piste I have been promising myself I would have a ski in Catherine’s Area, which involves a short hike from the top of Supreme, which opened for the first ime yesterday.

It was a good thing the hike is a short one ‘cos at 3200 metres everything becomes hard work.  skis back on and along the traverse a way until some other tele skiers suggested going further wasn’t really worth it.  First few turns were OK then confronted a band of cliffs.  As I wasn’t feeling THAT adventurous had to sidle above them till faced with a descent through a choice of gullies, none of which looked particularly appealing with the current cover.  So in the end found that twin tip skis DO have a purpose – makes it much easier to sideslip backwards in tight situations.  No awards for elegance but eventually managed to make it to the collecting cat track.  At least now I’ve got a handle on the lie of the land and it will be much easier with some more snow.

With confidence now slightly restored headed for Collins shelter for the traditional Christmas lunch of a baldy burger and coffee.  Did a couple of runs in ballroom after lunch – normally a powder learning area but today was skier packed and almost flat but still enjoyable.  Groomers over this side were VERY firm and not all that enjoyable, so headed back for a last couple of runs on Rock n Roll and called it quits.  Not really interested in coming back here until we get fresh snow, which hopefully is only a couple of days away.

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